Your call, says vicar

Plans to build a mobile phone mast on top of a church spire have set alarm bells ringing in Two Mile Ash.

But the Church of the Holy Cross has this week promised that if the parishioners object, then the proposal will not go ahead.

The church, used daily to house a popular Under 5's playgroup, has been offered a "substantial sum" of rent each month to accommodate the mast and transmitting base station.

Making the offer is a company called QS4, which acts as an intermediary between mobile phone companies and churches all over the country in a bid to find new sites for masts.

"It's too early for us to comment about this proposal," said a QS4 spokesman this week. "We have made an approach to the Church of the Holy Cross but they have not yet reached a decision."

The spokesman refused to say how high the mast would be or how much money the church would receive each month.

Ministry team leader Rev Tim Norwood has assured residents and church users their views would be taken into account before any decision was made.

Church organisers organised a meeting, due to be held yesterday evening (Wednesday) for people to have their say.

"We know very little about the plans at the moment," said a spokesman for the pre-school group. "A letter went out to parents a couple of days ago and we've only had a few responses so far.

A couple were worried about any side-effects to the children's health and a couple objected on religious grounds."

Said Rev Norwood: "It is a difficult decision to make. Undoubtedly any church would welcome the money the companies are offering and they could put that money to very good use. But unless everyone agrees unanimously, we simply will not go ahead."

"We don't know what to think," said one Two Mile Ash resident.

"It seems wrong somehow to put a mast on top of a place of worship – but then there are three different masts on the roundabouts next to the church building!"

sally.murrer @mkcitizen.co.uk

18 January 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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